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How Do You Find Your Way Back To Each Other?

“You sort of stumble along and reconnect and lose each other and reconnect again.” 

That’s Felicity Huffman’s response (Lynette from Desperate Housewives), when she was recently asked about her successful marriage.* 

And it’s one of the best descriptions I’ve ever heard — of a good relationship.

Being in a good relationship doesn’t mean things are always great (that’s Hollywood).  It doesn’t mean things are dramatic and tumultuous (that’s Hollywood, too).

It means — sometimes you’re close … then you fight … then you work things out … then you’re close again … and then you start all over again.  

Hopefully there’s more closeness than fighting.  And, when you’re close, you remember how much you really love each other.  And, when you fight, you don’t do or say things you can’t take back. 

But, it can be reassuring to realize that it’s okay to “stumble along” and “lose each other,” as long as you find your way back to each other again.

So, how do you find your way back to each other?  Sometimes, it can help to try:

  • Listening to what he’s saying.  Even if you know you’re right and he’s wrong, try  putting yourself in his shoes.   Whatever he’s upset about is really important to him.
  • Not replaying how and why you feel wronged, over and over in your head.  That’s only going to make things worse.*  (See Gottman’s Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, for more on this.) 
  • Taking time to cool off.  It helps you put things in perspective.  Then whatever you were fighting about becomes less important.  Plus, you start to miss each other.  
  • Remembering, he’s doing his best.  He may be having a bad day.  He may be under stress at work.  Sometimes, it helps to remember that things aren’t always about us.
  • Appreciating what he does doHe might not do exactly what you want, when you want him to do it.  But, there may be other things he does for you, that you don’t even think about.  It’s important to remember he’s trying and not take that for granted.  

Of course, this doesn’t mean you let him treat you bad or blame you for things that aren’t your fault.  And you do need to work though whatever you were fighting about, so it doesn’t keep happening.  But, first, you have to get to the place where you want to reconnect, before you’ll even be ready to try.

I’d love to hear how you find your way back to each other. 

*To read more of the Felicity Huffman article, see the September issue of More.

Vonda (“Vondie”) Lozano, Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Hypnotherapist. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal and on KABC Talk Radio. Vondie offers hypnosis, counseling, and workshops in Ventura. Nearby cities include Camarillo, Ojai and Oxnard.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Alicia

    We read this book, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. An amazing book which describes how different people love, and how they receive love. It’s a wonderful book that let us know what we need to do for each other. For instance, I turned out to be a quality time person, so now he knows that for me to feel loved, I need personal quality time with him. So when there is too much video gaming, or hanging out with other people, I can tell him, that I really need quality time with him. This really helps us understand each other and they way we love, and I think resulting in less fight time.

  • Vondie

    Alicia,
    Great to hear from you!
    Thanks for sharing about The Five Love Languages. You’re right. When we really understand what we each need, we can ask for it, and hopefully get it. Good for you guys. :)
    Vondie

  • jairo deleon

    Well, from a male perspective it is important for our love ones to know that just because we don't talk about our frustration or issues does not mean we don't experience it. For those men who do share their feelings and thoughts, sometimes they get ignored or not taken seriously. As a result, many men become distant from their love ones and in many cases love ones become confused and worried about their relationship and communication.
    I have always said that men and women are different. We hold different expertise and one of non expertise for men is communicating our deepest feelings. The reason why is because by revealing our deepest feelings we feel very weak and defenseless. Two concepts that men try to stay ways from. Not just in our relationships but in our every day life.
    For those couples out there who have a partner that needs to get away to cool off before re-entering a conversation, cooling off can really be more effective as opposed to forcing a conversation that can later turn worse. Besides it makes it easier to not build any more hatred towards each other. Instead it pulls couples together and the argument ends up being just another disagreement as opposed to feeling or doubting that the relationship is worth keeping.

  • Vondie

    Wow Jairo,
    You’re exactly right. It is really hard for men to share. And it’s also really important to take time to cool off, so we don’t make things worse.
    Great to hear from you.
    Vondie

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